Take care on the road

Published 7:47 pm Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday’s spate of crashes — thankfully none resulting in serious injury or death — served as a good reminder to motorists to slow down and drive with more care in treacherous winter conditions, especially during the holiday period.

The accidents, mostly on Route 58 at the Blackwater Bridge, came after a band of ice moved through the city in the morning, freezing roadways at bridges, overpasses and other elevated places.

According to reports, the most potentially serious of several accidents occurred on Pruden Boulevard, where a truck flipped over a guardrail.

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Lately, Suffolk has had more than its fair share of road fatalities. On Route 58, a man died in a single-vehicle accident on Monday, while an elderly woman lost her life on Pruden Boulevard on Saturday after, according to a preliminary investigation, her minivan collided with a pickup truck broken down in the right-hand lane eastbound. Earlier in the month, a man died after a head-on collision on Nansemond Parkway.

These accidents were preventable.

Other recent accidents have narrowly escaped being fatal, such as a crash on Route 58 on Dec. 16. A witness saw about eight young men climb from an SUV after it plowed into a pickup that had emerged from a connecting road at the wrong time.

Wreckage was strewn across a large section of the road. While several were reportedly transported to a hospital with minor injuries, some of the lucky escapees stood next to their vehicle, resting on its side, looking like they’d just won Powerball. But they’d won something even more valuable.

The weather that has been more like summer may have lulled those involved in the day-after-Christmas accidents into a false sense of security that the roads weren’t icy. Weathermen are predicting the mercury could fall below freezing more nights this weekend and next week.

With so many of our loved ones on the road this time of year, please drive to the conditions, which may require driving at a speed not even close to the posted limit and just letting that fool behind you blow his horn until it breaks.

If you haven’t already done so recently, it’s a good time of year to make sure your tires are properly inflated; pressure will drop with the temperature, and increase in the heat.

We can all do more to help stop carnage on the road. Just think about how abruptly and violently it all ends for victims of car accidents. Our lives are so cocooned from any danger for the most part, but cars become weapons much more lethal in wintry conditions.